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Short boarding trip... WHERE?


Guest B-2
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Hi all. Hoping to tap into some of your local knowledge...

I'm planning on visiting the Lake Tahoe area for a day or two around xmas, and would like to know if you guys have any hints/tips on maxmizing fun and minimizing cost... :) Where to go, where to stay, etc.

Or should I be considering some other place to visit? I only have a few days so I'd like to keep the logistics simple. (i.e. it'd be great if I could get to the hill from the airport via a shuttle ride or short rental car drive.)

I know next to nothing about the boarding south of the border... so any info appreciated!

-b

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Guest Randy S.

You'll get a warm reception wherever you go. I'm assuming you are flying into Reno. It is cheapest to stay on the south shore in South Lake Tahoe. However, you are then limited to riding at Heavenly or Kirkwood. Kirkwood is about 45 minutes from SLT. Heavenly has some good carving, but you need to know where to go and there's a lot of time spent getting from place to place on the hill. The reason it is cheaper in SLT is because your hotel will have a casino in it. That can be a good or bad thing, depending on your perspective.

North Lake Tahoe has more mountains to choose from, but is more spread-out. Northstar, Alpine and Squaw are all great options. Northstar (aka Flatstar) doesn't have anything very challenging, but is good for carving. I don't recommend it on a weekend because it is a zoo. Squaw has the best variety of terrain and the most steeps and cliffs if you like that. It also has a nice village at the base. I ride mostly at Alpine Meadows which has some great steeps, off-piste and some groomers. It also limits ticket sales so it is never crowded and you can't beat the $39 tickets. In North Lake, you would stay in either Truckee or Tahoe City. It is a 50 minute drive from Reno to either NLT or SLT.

As Chooblaykhan said, if you post this in Tahoecarvers, you'll get some more insight. Keep in mind though, that most of the guys at TC ride at Kirkwood. Its a great mountain, but has very limited lodging options.

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If you're flying into Reno, you might look at stay/ski packages in Reno, or hotels with ski shuttles.

A really good mountain that is only 30 minutes or so from Reno is called Mt. Rose, it's not actually on Mt. Rose but it's pretty high, the base is about 8500 and the top is 9600, so it stays cold. It has good grooming and doesn't seem too crowded to me. It's about medium size as far as the Tahoe resorts go, and has the best views of all of them (I think).

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How about posting your question on:

www.tahoecarvers.com

Thanks for the link chooblaykhan, I'll look into posting on tahoecarvers to solicit some ideas.

You'll get a warm reception wherever you go. I'm assuming you are flying into Reno. It is cheapest to stay on the south shore in South Lake Tahoe. However, you are then limited to riding at Heavenly or Kirkwood. Kirkwood is about 45 minutes from SLT. Heavenly has some good carving, but you need to know where to go and there's a lot of time spent getting from place to place on the hill. The reason it is cheaper in SLT is because your hotel will have a casino in it. That can be a good or bad thing, depending on your perspective.

North Lake Tahoe has more mountains to choose from, but is more spread-out. Northstar, Alpine and Squaw are all great options. Northstar (aka Flatstar) doesn't have anything very challenging, but is good for carving. I don't recommend it on a weekend because it is a zoo. Squaw has the best variety of terrain and the most steeps and cliffs if you like that. It also has a nice village at the base. I ride mostly at Alpine Meadows which has some great steeps, off-piste and some groomers. It also limits ticket sales so it is never crowded and you can't beat the $39 tickets. In North Lake, you would stay in either Truckee or Tahoe City. It is a 50 minute drive from Reno to either NLT or SLT.

As Chooblaykhan said, if you post this in Tahoecarvers, you'll get some more insight. Keep in mind though, that most of the guys at TC ride at Kirkwood. Its a great mountain, but has very limited lodging options.

Yeah I'll be flying into Reno. Seems like North Lake Tahoe is my best bet... a bit closer and more variety. Alpine Meadows is probably where I want to be. Carving and crowds don't mix. $39 tickets??!? :)

isnt Sierra in southlake? Ive only been once but from what I remember it would be a good carving hill

There are some good hotel/ski deals in Reno so I think I'll stick with staying around the north side to keep things simple.

If you're flying into Reno, you might look at stay/ski packages in Reno, or hotels with ski shuttles.

A really good mountain that is only 30 minutes or so from Reno is called Mt. Rose, it's not actually on Mt. Rose but it's pretty high, the base is about 8500 and the top is 9600, so it stays cold. It has good grooming and doesn't seem too crowded to me. It's about medium size as far as the Tahoe resorts go, and has the best views of all of them (I think).

Just browsing around the net I found some packages for around $50 that includes basically everything except food. Seems like I can get away with spending less than I thought... :D

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Guest Randy S.

I just re-read your post. You say you are coming around Christmas. When exactly? During the week between Xmass and New-Years, Tahoe will be a zoo. Traffic can be bad. That means staying near the mountain is important. If you are wanting to ride at Alpine Meadows and/or Squaw, I'd suggest staying in Tahoe City.

Alpine Meadows sells out. They limit ticket sales and therefore the hill doesn't get too crowded. Because of that, you need to get there early during the holidays. I'd suggest being there by 8:30-8:45 to be sure of getting in. Check the Alpine web site. Certain days during the holiday they are charging $49/day instead of $39. Still the best deal around.

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You think Truckee would be cheaper? That way he could go to Sugar Bowl, or Squaw or Alpine. I sure wouldn't recommend Northstar on any weekend or holiday.

Is Alpine doing any better at Grooming? Last couple of times I was there (season before last) the grooming was virtually nonexistant. Definitely not a carver's mountain.

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Sorry I forgot to mention in my post that I've moved up my date to a couple of weekdays in early Dec. I thought about the Tahoe Zoo situation and decided to avoid the holiday madness (or a large portion thereof.)

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Guest Randy S.
Originally posted by Steve Dold

You think Truckee would be cheaper? That way he could go to Sugar Bowl, or Squaw or Alpine. I sure wouldn't recommend Northstar on any weekend or holiday.

Is Alpine doing any better at Grooming? Last couple of times I was there (season before last) the grooming was virtually nonexistant. Definitely not a carver's mountain.

They bought some new grooming machines last season. Let's hope they have people who know how to use them. Grooming is pretty good. It depends on the trail and the time. Alpine isn't the ultimate carving hill. The runs are fairly steep and not too wide. The back side has some great carving. If you love steeps and like trees and cliffs and stuff like that, Alpine is awesome. I like it for the variety of terrain and the challenges it offers.

If you aren't coming at the holidays, then Truckee or Tahoe City are good options for staying. Both have good night-life and food options. Truckee is 20 minutes from skiing and Tahoe City is 10 minutes. You can stay in Reno, but that means a 1 hour drive in the morning to get to the hill. If you are looking for a deal that includes lodging and lift tickets, check out Granlibakken. They have pretty good deals (like $89 for lodging and lift tickets/night) and they have a shuttle to Alpine. You might also look at the River Ranch if you don't mind spending a bit more. It is very convenient at the base of the Alpine access road and has nice rooms and good food.

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